Dan Garzella - Founder & President.
Dan founded his independent insurance brokerage company, The Garzella Group, in 2014. Prior to starting his own firm, Dan was selected as one of the America’s top commercial insurance agents of the year for 5 consecutive years. Garzella built his business on three key principles...”Faith and patience”... “Never give up” ... and “Believe in others.” His original inspiration was a book given to him by his father when he started his insurance company...“How to Master the Art of Selling” by Tom Hopkins. From this foundation of information, Dan built his company exponentially. He was able to attract top talent to the firm by promising, and delivering, on qualities he shared with his growing corporate family...perseverance, authenticity, transparency, accountability and loyalty. Garzella’s two great joys in life are mentoring his staff and watching them develop professionally...and teaching his young son, Rocco, how to grow up straight and strong and happy.
Myles Johnson - Vice President.
A founding member and partner of The Garzella Group, Myles Johnson has always believed he was in the business of creating legacies...both for his insurance clients, as well as for his family.
A superb communicator and creative problem solver whose fascination with science and history taught him about managing information and methodologies, Myles puts a high value on three key qualities: dependability, reliability and consistency. “Being there at all times” for his clients, his staff and his family are what sets Myles apart from other independent insurance executives. Honest, loyal and surprisingly modest, Johnson is a charismatic mentor to all the people around him. He is happily married to his lovely Kea and is a new father to his beloved son Cohen and daughter Ellie. Determined to live an “inspired life,” this former Sun Devil is particularly proud to have been able to support both his mother and his aunt in their final years which has given him a unique perspective on managing risk and maintaining wealth. “Be hungry at the bottom and humble at the top, because nothing lasts forever, and life will change in an instant” is Myles Johnson’s motto.
Carly Garzella - Operations Manager
A lifetime student of human nature, Carly Garzella has always put others before herself. This loving wife and mother of three is extremely close to her entire family, and her proudest moments are spent watching her daughter and two sons grow and develop as people. An especially good listener, Carly is an extremely focused individual whose command of the myriad details of her business life is beyond impressive. Perseverant, considerate and intrepid, Ms. Gazella believes in the philosophy of nothing ventured, nothing gained. She chooses to live every day in the present and not sweat the unimportant stuff. Not surprisingly, Carly’s favorite book is “Happiness Is A Serious Problem,” a treatise about what motivates people and makes them tick. She loves art, science and creative writing. And if Carly could take her family anywhere in the world, it would be to visit her family’s roots in Italy.
Chris Stenke - Business Consultant
Chris Stenke is a connector. He connects good people to other good people. He connects clients to the best insurance coverage. He connects difficult questions to the right answers. Chris’ personal style is to be open, transparent, genuine and candid. And these are the qualities he looks for in other people. He has the greatest respect for people who work hard and work smart. People who are motivated by more than mere money. A father to three beautiful daughters, Chris loves nothing more than to spend his spare time with family and close friends, regardless of the activity. But during business hours, Chris Stenke is constantly striving to better understand the businesses he serves...analyzing why they are successful and how he can add to that success. A veteran of the Air Force) whose postings took him all around the world, Chris is extremely competent, totally committed, and a tremendous asset to the Garzella Group.
Kevin Conway - Director of Commercial Insurance
Kevin Conway’s creed is a simple one: be honest, be candid, be clear and to the point. Explain the details of sometimes complex insurance issues accurately and concisely. Give advice based only on the clients’ best interests. And, oh yes, be a loyal University of Michigan fan. Kevin listens before he speaks. He uses experience and good judgment to analyze the facts of every situation before giving an opinion. It’s why he’s trusted by both his colleagues and clients. A devoted father to his son Silas, Kevin Conway is married to his lovely bride Megan. As dedicated as he is in business, Kevin is equally committed to the well-being and happiness of others, especially his large family in Michigan. Kevin’s favorite quote: “Be principled, respectful and up front, because it will hurt you in the long run if you’re not.”
Richard Nine - Sr. Commercial Insurance Advisor.
Richard Nine is a natural problem solver who has the rare ability to explain complicated insurance concepts and complex information in a way that is easily understandable to ordinary people. An old-fashioned straight arrow who believes in simple, honest, “common sense” talk and accountability, Richard is also passionate about his own personal and professional growth, which he views as a never-ending process. “We should always try to learn, grow and improve.” Richard takes personal responsibility for everything he does in business and in his private life. As he often says, “If you take ownership of everything you can, you’ll be able to look back on your life and know for sure that nobody else ever stopped you from following your chosen path.”
A devoted dog owner, avid reader and film buff, Richard Nine’s ideal vacation would be a cabin on a beach filled with his closest lifelong friends
Trevor First - Sr. Commercial Insurance Advisor
Trevor First’s favorite subjects in high school were marketing, business and art...an interesting combination. People who know him, know that Trevor is both “right-brained” and “left brained.” So he is logical, analytical and objective...while at the same time intuitive, thoughtful and creative. Trevor has always enjoyed the freedom of creating something out of nothing. This, together with his formidable business and marketing skills, enables Trevor to implement insurance strategies that are both innovative and practical. This self-start is highly motivated and passionate about his job, and his life. Trevor loves cooking, travel, gardening and playing with his two beloved dogs.
A 12-year veteran of the Garzella Group, Trevor’s philosophy is simple, “If you want to change the world, start off each day by making your bed.”
Ryan Thomas - Commercial Insurance Advisor
An avid history buff, Ryan Thomas believes that when you study historical events, you have a better perspective on why things are the way they are, and how they got that way. This provides him with valuable insights into insurance products, how they work, and their special benefits. Ryan understands how best to use insurance to provide optimum protection for the Garzella Groups’ clientele. A proud Sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserves, Ryan Thomas adheres to the principal that honesty and integrity are all-important qualities in the risk industry, and that working smarter is always preferable to simply working harder. While Ryan’s parents and three brothers all live in Michigan, his local Arizona family is comprised of his beloved Border Collie, named Jack Sparrow. An excellent guitarist, ball player and boxer, Ryan claims to never have been beaten at ping-pong.
Nina Fonjga - Personal Lines
A natural problem solver, Nina Fonjga has always enjoyed solving complex math problems. She credits her mother’s genes for this special gift.
Being a dedicated hiker, cook and baker, Nina makes time to explore Arizona on day trips, discover new restaurants and try out fresh new recipes on her boyfriend, family and her German Shepherd puppy. Nina received her degree in marketing from Arizona State University, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. Born in Bosnia, Nina’s parents and brother live in Arizona, while she is blessed to have relatives in Sweden, Bosnia and Canada. Her life goals include owning a beach house in California and becoming an expert at home repair - being able to do plumbing, electrical, and carpentry repairs on her own. Her philosophy of life is a simple one: Be kind, be honest and be strong.
“Fun is good for you. Enjoy some every day.”
This is Corbin Willson’s motto. And it tells you a lot about his personality, his personal goals and his lifestyle. This (name of college) graduate is a student of the humanities whose love of history, art and music inspires his everyday life. Corbin looks for the “bright side” of everything. He sees humor in the mundane. And he always sees the glass as at least “half full.“ Upbeat, positive, caring and considerate are words that accurately describe this natural “people connector.” Corbin believes it is healthy to laugh at yourself, in order to stay grounded and lead a happy, healthy life.
A surfer and skateboarder with a large, close-knit circle of friends and family, Willson is greatly admired for being open and candid, taking personal responsibility, and being adept at resolving conflicts.
Steve Easley is a lucky man. The reason is simple. In his own words, Easley says he is “finally at a place I love...and I look forward to every single day I spend at the Garzella Group.” Steve knows that if you truly enjoy your job, then you’ll never “work” a day in your life. A student of history and business, Easley is fascinated by how companies are managed and the reasons for their successes and failures. He credits his mother for his singular work ethic. “My mom was the hardest working person I know. Being raised by her motivated me to work very diligently, and to always strive to exceed expectations.” Blessed with this strong work ethic and the proverbial “gift of gab,” Steve is a sensitive, highly likeable man who is able to communicate with virtually anyone. The words
he lives by? Never give up.
Darrell Hernandez is passionate about coaching kids, working with youth groups such as the Boys and Girls Club, and volunteering for his community. The quality he most admires in other people is integrity, simply because it is a singularly important part of his own character. “Do what you say” is his simple, but ironclad, guiding principle. Darrell is also driven to have a commanding knowledge of all the numbers that affect his insurance clients, in order to make a positive, worthwhile impact on other peoples’ lives. A dyed-in-the-wool “people person,” Darrell likes to read for self-improvement, play with his two dogs, and travel. Next stop...Belize.
Steve Timmer holds himself to very high standards. He sets an example and acts like a natural leader. Steve’s background in mathematics and his considerable communication skills are the ideal combination for a successful career in the insurance industry. Immensely respected by his colleagues at the Garzella Group, Timmer believes that “truth in numbers” is the key to smart insurance solutions and satisfied clients. Communication and compassion are words that he lives by, and are what drive his daily endeavors. A natural “people person” who loves building personal relationships, Steve values consistency, accountability and integrity as the most important traits a person can possibly have...in business and in life. When Steve isn’t helping clients find answers to their insurance needs, he loves winning his friends’ money on the golf course. His goal in life? To keep smiling.
Ricardo Cervantes - Insurance Broker
Ricardo Cervantes was a math wizard in high school. It was his favorite subject. Mathematics challenged him, and he loved the problem-solving aspect of working with numbers.
Then Ricardo went on to get his Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, where he majored in Finance, Business Communications and Business Ethics.
Today, just a few years later, Ricardo is an insurance broker at the Garzella Group, one of the Phoenix area’s fastest growing independent insurance agencies.
This calm, clear-headed young “numbers man” is not only eminently relatable, but he exudes the kind of genuine empathy people appreciate in an insurance agent. Ricardo focuses his quiet determination, personal discipline and sense of fair play on representing his clients’ very best interests.
A dog lover, Cervantes is fluent in English and Spanish, is digitally savvy, and knows the industry software like a millennial. He also understands how to use insurance as a business tool, how to mitigate risk, and how to best protect personal assets.
Ever since graduating from ASU, Ricardo Cervantes has been volunteering at Young Life, mentoring, supporting and raising money for under-privileged high school students. One interesting short term personal goal is that Ricardo is determined to visit Japan during Cherry Blossom Season. It’s important to have goals!